Caracal, also known as desert lynx, is a type of wild cat that hunts in night, normally in solitude. They are best known for their powerful, agile hind legs that enable them to leap tenaciously at least 3 meters (or 9 feet) in the air to catch birds on their wing. This hunting cat’s great leap is metaphorically significant to British duo Disclosure’s transition to realms of pop music in the form of their sophomore album, Caracal.
I read a premature evaluation of Caracal that refers to it as the Lawrence brothers’ “trojan horse to pop” and I guess the writer had a point. Listeners that anticipate a continuation of Disclosure’s magnum opus, 2013’s Settle, would find it difficult to, well, settle down quite comfortably in familiar territory, because this is not Guy and Howard picking up where they left off. Admittedly, I find this record’s strongest cuts lacking the sense of urgency that ‘Latch’ or even ‘White Noise’ had. I guess it’s my worst nitpick about it, which is what I get whenever I compare, which is unavoidable. Whereas Settle sounded smart, sharp, even high brow, I’d say – Caracal embraced the liberty of fun and being unexacting. It aims to take the center stage when its predecessor was perfectly fine running – and dominating – the show from the background.